SANDOWN – The board of selectmen gave its support to office assistant Paula Gulla to move forward with an application for a Moose Plate grant for improvements to the Sandown Historical Society’s Train Depot Museum. What the grant money will be sought for has yet to be determined. On Monday, Feb. 25, Gulla explained the grant program and noted the deadline for this year’s applications was April 26.
The Moose Plate Conservation License Plate Program is a state sponsored program that takes revenues from special moose-emblazoned license plates to support the protection of critical resources in New Hampshire, including scenic lands, historic sites and artifacts, and plants and wildlife.
Sandown can apply for up to $10,000 for purposes that fall into those categories. Historical society president Bruce Robinson also met with the board to seek its support for the grant and to explain a couple of possibilities for the money.
The most expensive project being considered is the replacement of doors and windows. Robinson said he had an estimate created to replicate what the building currently has. That materials cost came to $8,500, he said. While the selectmen gave
their support to moving ahead with the program, some wanted more information. Selectman Brenda Copp said she would like a written explanation and plan for what needs to be fixed and improved at the site. She said she didn’t want any decisions made before that occurred.
“I want a piece of paper,” Copp emphasized, “that tells me everything the depot needs to bring it up to the standard it needs.” There is a warrant article on this year’s ballot asking for $3,500 for energy efficiency improvements to the building. It is estimated that on average about $3,000 is spent per year on the structure for heat alone. The town has paid $8,200 in the last three years for heat there. The article seeks to improve insulation at the site.
During discussions about that article, some selectmen wanted more detailed information on what the project entailed, though members of the Local Energy Commission, which is spearheading the work, said they had given in-depth plans.
Gulla also pointed out
that if the town receives money from the Moose Plates, it can’t start any work until August.
Gulla had previously put work into applying for a Moose Plate grant to aid in the refurbishment of the Old Meeting House, but given the schedule dictated by the money, the selectmen ultimately decided against moving forward at that time.
The board is set to meet with Robinson on Monday, March 3, to further discuss the depot and finalize what project will be applied for in the grant. Robinson said there were other grants being looked into as well. The Depot is listed on the State Registry of Historical Places.
In other business Monday night:
• The town fielded five bids for a police cruiser being retired by the police department. The bids ranged from $3,507 to $3,755 and from as far away as Chicago, Ill. The board awarded the vehicle to Bay Ridge Motors of Staten Island for the high bid of $3,755.
• Town Reports, dedicated to Irving Bassett, former fire chief and all around volunteer, are now available at Town Hall.